Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 23, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Constantinides Decries DNC’s Decision to Reject Climate Debate Request

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, yesterday decried the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) decision to not hold a climate debate. 

The DNC made the decision following a committee meeting where they denied a resolution for the party to hold an official presidential debate focused solely on this existential crisis, although several candidates for the 2020 nomination said they supported the measure.

“I am disappointed to see the DNC resolutions committee rejected the call for an official climate debate – a decision I strongly ask them to reconsider,” said Constantinides.

“This is the existential crisis of our generation, which will negatively impact our economy, infrastructure, agriculture, housing market and national security. America deserves a robust discussion on how the women and men vying to challenge the climate-denier-in-chief will address this threat. My hope is CNN will ask those substantive questions at its climate town hall here in New York City on September 4, and I again call on the network to bring the candidates to a community already dealing with rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and toxic air. There are several suitable locations in Queens and Brooklyn with easy access to mass transit and New York City’s airports, both of which could be underwater within decades unless there’s a massive mobilization to make our country more resilient,” he added.

Kim, 109TH Police Precinct Team Up On Back-To-School Giveaway

Assemblymember Ron Kim


Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill) today will join representatives from Healthfirst, the 109th Precinct Community Council, and the 109th Precinct’s Community Affairs Department at his district office to announce the 2019 Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway. 

The speakers at Assemblyman Kim’s office will highlight the importance of supporting local students and offer their advice on preparing for the upcoming community event, which will be held next week at the 109thPrecinct.

The giveaway is slated for 10 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27 and the announcement is slated for 12 noon, today, Aug. 23 – both at Kim’s district office, 136-20 38th Avenue, Suite 10A in Flushing.

Van Bramer Cheers Opening Of Hunter’s Point Library

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, and Woodside) yesterday cheered the soon-to-be-opened Hunters Point Library as a cause for celebration.

“This state-of-the-art community library with over 50,000 books and materials, a community room that can hold 200, a cyber-center, quiet room, spectacular children’s room and a programmable rooftop area with stadium seating will improve lives from day one,” said Van Bramer.

“I’ve worked on this project since I was a staffer at the Queens Public Library. And while there have been moments of great frustration with delays, I know that generations of children and families will benefit because we stayed the course, invested the money, and saw this project to its completion. I’m proud to have allocated over $10 million toward this project and I want to thank all who made this moment possible, including those like Fausta Ippolito, who are no longer with us, but whose love for this library sustained me, even in the darkest of times,” he added.

The library is slated to open at 2:30 p.m., Sept. 24 at 47-40 Center Blvd. in Long Island City.

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce $178 Mil In Fed Anti-Terrorism Funding

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday announced that the New York City area is set to receive $178,750,000 in federal funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas by helping to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. 

Through UASI’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, $11,096,805 will be awarded to 116 nonprofit organizations in the New York City area that are at high risk of an attack to improve their security. 

Synagogues, churches, mosques, and other faith-based community centers are just a few examples of nonprofit organizations that could apply for these funds.

“With both ISIS-inspired attacks and horrific hate crimes targeting places of worship becoming more frequent across the globe, we must do all we can to help protect top terror targets like New York City and help people of all faiths worship in safety and security,” said Schumer. “Federal security funds, like UASI, are the cornerstone of effective preparedness and prevention against terror threats and enable local law enforcement, like the NYPD, to do all they can to keep New Yorkers safe. I have been a strong supporter of counter-terrorism funds for New York City and I will do everything in my power to continue fighting for these funds to make sure that New York and all houses of worship are protected.”

“No one should ever have to live in fear of being the target of a terror attack, and it is a tragedy that New York and places across the country still face the threat of terrorism and hate crimes,” said Gillibrand. “These anti-terror funds will help our law enforcement protect and save lives, and it will also provide nonprofits and places of worship that are at risk of being targeted with the resources they need to enhance their security and help prevent attacks. I’m proud to fight for the funding for this critical program every year in the Senate, and I will always do everything I can to help keep New Yorkers safe.”

Comrie Applauds Enactment Of Bill Toughening Regs On Local Authority Boards

State Senator Leroy Comrie

State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Briarwood, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Hillcrest, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens, Laurelton, Queens Village, Rosedale, South Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans) applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing his legislation (S.1872/A.220) giving the Authorities Budget Office (ABO) the power to suspend local authority board members or executive staff for failure to submit any report required by public authorities law section 2800. 

Previously, the ABO was only permitted to make recommendations and issue public censure letters to delinquent local authorities.

Specifically, the bill empowers the ABO to suspend local authority board members and executive staff including CEOs who have failed to file the annual reports, as required under the Public Authorities Law, if the reports are more than three years late of the filing due date. The reports are due 90 days after the end of the authority’s fiscal year. The Office is also empowered to terminate a suspension where the entity has remedied their non-compliance. 

“Public authorities can be opaque entities. When Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins appointed me Chair of the Corporations, Authorities & Commissions Committee earlier this year, my goal was to work with my colleagues to ensure that they would operate in a more transparent, effective and accountable manner,” said Comrie.

“Senate Bill 1872 will – for the first time – empower the New York State Authorities Budget Office to have proactive and meaningful oversight over New York’s 860 local authorities, ensuring that they comply with important reporting and disclosure provisions, or face the consequence of suspensions. This important accountability measure wisely puts the public interest first in the phrase ‘public authority reform’. I commend Governor Cuomo for recognizing this need and signing this legislation into law,” he added.